In Texas, it’s no secret that football is king. In the bleachers, and under the soft glow of the Friday Night Lights, it’s tough to beat a football game. But, pigskin is played in the warmer months for a reason.
And now that it’s cold enough to keep a politician’s hands in his own pockets, it’s time we turn our attention from the gridiron to the gymnasium. The UIL Girls’ and Boys’ hoops hoopla is right around the corner, and Frisco ISD boasts their fair share of teams on the cusp of a postseason run.
District 9-4A Boys Basketball
Frisco Heritage Coyotes (22-3, 11-1)
Currently the number-one seeded team in District 9-4A, the Coyotes dealt the rival Prosper Eagles their lone district loss. Heritage has all the makings of a juggernaut thanks to possessing three of the top-scoring players in the area.
6’4” Junior F Wesley Franklin has averaged 13.4 PPG with 7.3 reb/g. 6’3” Senior G/F Gabe Fowler has averaged 10.2 PPG with 3.6 reb/g. The Area 4A’s fourth-ranked scoring offense is led by Senior G Jordan Box who leads Heritage in points per game with a robust 17.8 per which is good for seventh best in area.
The Coyotes are a dynamic group. With an offense averaging 68.5 ppg, (4th in the area) and a defense that surrenders just 52 points, all signs point to continued success for Heritage as they prepare for postseason play.
Frisco High (15-8, 7-5)
The Frisco High Raccoons are in a third-place tie with the Liberty RedHawks as they split their two-game series this season. The ‘Coons boast a tenth-ranked scoring offense in the area, netting 63.7 ppg.
Led by Jaylon Cleveland (12 ppg; 3.3 reb/g), don’t let their somewhat pedestrian district record full you as 9-4A is one of the best in the area. The Raccoons are the reigning 2012-2013 Bi-District Champs, and with the dynamic presence of Cleveland complemented by Nico Carvacho (9.6 ppg, 9.1 reb/g) and Julian Stephens (9.2 ppg, 3.2 ast/g), the Fighting ‘Coons could claw their way deep into the postseason once again.
Frisco Liberty (14-9, 7-5)
As previously mentioned, the RedHawks are tied for the third seed in 9-4A. Like the aforementioned ‘Coons, don’t take the RedHawks too lightly. After all, they are responsible for the Coyotes’ lone district loss this year when they beat them 67-61 in Heritage’s house.
During that epic game, the RedHawks used solid defense and 32 points from Ashten Bloom to silence the Coyotes. Bloom, a 5’9” SG, is the 15th ranked scorer in the area, and with 15.3 ppg., Sophomore G Carter Brown (10 ppg, 4.4 reb/g) is another key piece in the Liberty offense.
The main question facing the RedHawks, as they ready themselves for UIL play, will be if their defense (53.6 points allowed per game) can hold up against increasingly tougher competition.
District 10-3A Boys
Frisco Lone Star (20-6, 5-1)
The Lone Star Rangers are one of the best 3A teams in the area, if not the state. If you’re into pudding—and the proof that lies within—then consider how the Rangers fared this season against their 4A opponents. The Rangers beat playoff-bound Frisco Liberty 69-61 earlier this season on the road. And if you take away a rough first quarter, the Rangers might just have beaten another 4A playoff team in the Frisco Raccoons. To say the least, this is quite impressive.
Junior Zach Brown leads the team with 11.1 ppg, and senior Alex Wade is the team’s leader in reb/g, grabbing an average of 5.8 boards per contest. Lone Star averages 65.3 points per game, good for eighth-best in the area. Last year’s 3A Region 2 Area Champs, the Rangers have all the pieces in place for deep postseason push.
District 9-4A Girls Basketball
Frisco Liberty (24-3, 14-0)
Last season, on the strength of seniors Beatrice Attura (Northwestern State) and Andrea Mapua (TWU), the Lady RedHawks rumbled to the UIL Regional Finals. Even without these two standouts, Liberty has picked up where they left off with yet another undefeated district run.
The 2013-2014 version of the LadyHawks are led once again by two seniors. Forward Bria Frierson (13.6 ppg, 7.8 reb) is the team’s top scoring threat with G/F Kayla Mundy (13.5ppg, 5 reb/g) close on her heels. Both Mundy and Frierson were in the thick of last year’s playoff run, and you’d better believe they’ll be poised for yet another UIL romp.
One distinguishing characteristic of this year’s Lady RedHawks is their ability to shutdown the opposition with stellar defense. They’re tops in the area of points allowed per game allowing just 32.2 per game. In other words, to stand a fighter’s chance against Liberty, you not only have to solve their defense, but figure out a way to stop Mundy and Frierson from lighting up the scoreboard.
Frisco Centennial (18-10, 8-6)
The Lady Titans are led by senior G/F Mary Robbins, who has scored 9.6 ppg. Despite her 5’10” frame, Robbins is quick, and if left unprotected in the paint, can pour on the points. Fellow senior G/F Jaysa Cooper is another shooter that works the perimeter well and is second on the team in ppg with 8.4.
The Lady Titans were knocked out of the playoffs in the first round a year ago and will look to build on that experience during this year’s postseason.
Frisco Heritage (15-13, 7-7)
The Lady Coyotes and their district rival Lady RedHawks met in an epic Region 2 Quarterfinal last year with Liberty staving off Heritage by one point, 30-29. This season, Heritage needs one more win before they can lay claim to the fourth playoff spot.
Although their lineup isn’t as star-studded as a year ago, the Lady Coyotes are due to have one of the area’s top scorers in Taylor Jackson. The senior guard is a one-woman wrecking crew with 14.3 ppg and 5 rebounds per game.
This Friday Heritage and Little Elm will engage in a play-in game for the final postseason spot. The game is set for a 6:30 PM tipoff at Frisco Lone Star. This should be a great game as both of their regular season matchups were decided by five points or less.
District 10-3A Girls Basketball
Frisco Lone Star (17-9, 5-4)
In girls’ hoops, District 10-3A is similar to its football counterpart in terms of team power distribution. You have one unstoppable buzz saw, Argyle (30-1, 8-0) running away with the district title, and a VERY good second-place team in Celina (24-6, 6-2) that would likely be undefeated if they didn’t have to play Argyle.
All alone in third place, lay the Lady Rangers. Led by lightning-quick senior shooting guard Zoie Miller, Lone Star has enough talent to make a deep run in the playoffs. Miller is averaging 18.3 ppg, good for fifth in the area and is complemented by fellow senior Whitney Apari who carries a 13.4 ppg average along with 5.9 reb/g. The Rangers were Bi-District champions a year ago and they have the look of a team ready for another successful romp through the UIL Playoffs.
Be sure to check back often as Lifestyle Frisco will bring you the Frisco ISD Basketball Playoff Preview with news and notes on all of the upcoming postseason matchups.